Jules Bianchi has been ruled out of second practice at the Japanese Grand Prix
following his accident in the opening 90-minute session.
The Frenchman was the first victim of the Suzuka circuit this weekend, oversteering off at the second part of Degner and hitting the tyre wall hard with the left-front corner of his Marussia. Despite nursing a knock to his arm, however, the MR02 came off worst in the accident, prompting the Banbury-based squad to withdrawn its driver from the day's second session.
“As a consequence of Jules Bianchi's accident in this morning's Free Practice 1 session, his allocated chassis MR02-02 has sustained damage that is repairable but not in sufficient time for him to take part in Free Practice 2,” an official team statement explained.
“Jules will therefore sit out this afternoon's session, [while] the spare chassis will be built up in time for [him] to resume running in Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning.”
Despite his off costing him much of the session's running time, Bianchi ended the morning 20th overall – ahead of Giedo van der Garde and Max Chilton
– and less than a tenth shy of the more experienced Heikki Kovalainen
in the lead Caterham.
“It has been a tough day and with only 8 laps completed it is not the way I had expected things to go in my first sessions at Suzuka," Bianchi later reflected. "My chassis was too damaged for me to take part in FP2 so the team are building up the spare chassis and I will run again in FP3 tomorrow morning.
"We have a lot of work to do now - me with my engineers and also for the mechanics building the car up for tomorrow - so all we can do is work hard and hope for a better day tomorrow.”